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John Hersey


A book that's lost none of its power in the three-quarters-of-a-century since it was written. By focusing on the lives of six Hiroshima survivors (or hibakusha, "bomb-affected persons", as they are called in Japanese, to avoid any possible slight to those who died) Hersey manages to describe the suffering without making it spectacular. Originally written as an artcle in 1946, in the book he returns to Hiroshima after thirty years, which means he can assess the short- and longer-term effects of radiation sickness in ways that weren't visible in the aftermath (and which weren't wholly anticipated beforehand, although there is debate about the extent of what was known).

5/5. Finished 31 December 2020.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

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